New York State Assemblyman Eric “Ari” Brown blasted a local polio mobile campaign, primarily focused on Jewish areas, that is perceived to be antisemitic.
A truck employed by the New York State Department of Health reportedly drove mostly through New York neighborhoods and towns with large Jewish populations, advertising that “Polio Spreads in Israel. Get immunized now.”
Brown, a Republican who represents a district on Long Island, and other Jewish senior officials in New York urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to nix the vaccination campaign due to its “antisemitic aroma and depiction of Jews as disease spreaders.”
“Throughout history, Jews have been falsely accused of spreading infectious diseases, and it is not surprising to see that the state’s Department of Health has sent a truck to our Jewish community on Long Island,” said Brown, in his official letter to the state’s Health Department.
Brown, the deputy mayor of Cedarhurst, N.Y., home to many religious Jews, equated the controversial campaign to actions by the “nazis who used preventive measures like ghetto walls to contain the spread of Typhoid fever.”
Echoing Brown’s words, Nassau County, N.Y., executive Bruce Blakeman said he was worried that the “disturbing ads contain language that could be interpreted as antisemitic rhetoric.”
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly targeted Orthodox Jews disproportionally, making them out to be alleged spreaders of the coronavirus, leading to political backlash. Seeking a political comeback, Cuomo recently launched “Progressives for Israel,” an organization that seeks to promote Israel advocacy among U.S. Democrats.
New York City is home to approximately 1.6 million Jews, making it the largest Jewish center in the world outside of Israel.
This article originally appeared on All Israel News and is reposted with permission.